Frequently asked questions

There are a number of questions that we get asked frequently. Typically, they involve money (how expensive is a service going to be?) or trust (how do I know you’ll be a good fit for me?)

On this page, we tried to answer the most commonly asked questions as clearly and jargon free as we could.
If we haven’t answered your specific questions here let us know and we’ll try and help.

In order to deliver meaningful services that result in growth for our client’s businesses, we need a minimum budget availability of $20,000. No matter how great your idea, competing in a crowded market takes capital.

Yikes. That’s a lot of money!

Undercapitalization is one of the major reasons why over 80% of all food products entering the Canadian market fail. Listing fees alone, for a major supermarket, can easily be tens of thousands of dollars. You need money to earn money.

Ok, what will I get for that investment?

This depends on your needs, the product you wish to sell and the specifics of your category. Typically, it will set you up with category research, product naming and branding, food package design that appeals to both consumers and supermarket buyers, sales sheets and B2B materials as well as a web presence. In other words, the tools you need to be able to have meaningful conversations with supermarket buyers.

Creating a brand and a name for a food product will cost between $5,000 and $25,000, depending on the complexity of the project. International projects with significant research requirements can cost a multiple of this.

What kind of factors will make this kind of work more expensive?

  • Branding projects that need to work across multiple sub-brands – umbrella brands.
  • Inernational branding projects that need to work across multiple languages and/or cultures.
  • Projects that need extensive research into the markets they will be operating in.

What can be done to minimize expense?

  • You have existing research on your target market.
  • You have an umbrella brand that dictates parameters for a sub-brand.
  • You need a brand refresh, rather than development from scratch.

What is included?

  • We define your brand story and your brand archetype.
    based on this, we create a name based on the Nourish Food Brand naming matrix.
  • We create a graphical treatment that typically includes a logo as well as a colour and font palette for your food brand.
  • We document this for your reference and future use, from your website to your packaging.

Food packaging typically costs between $3000 and $8000 for the base design, then around 30% of that cost for individual SKUs.

I have a friend/spouse/kid who’s a graphic designer. He or she will do it much cheaper.

Every year, we have several new clients approach us with the same problem: A great product that is not selling as well as expected. Frequently, delisting is imminent and tens of thousands of dollars that were spent on development and listing fees are at risk.

70% of the time the culprit is packaging. It may be pretty but it’s often not optimized for retail. Our designers live and breathe retail and grocery stores, understanding planograms, shelf blocking and category conventions. As a result, our packaging design helps the product to sell itself, earning rather than wasting money on design cost and listing fees.

What factors will make this more expensive?

  • Complex food photography is required.
  • Complexity of packaging – you’re creating a custom solution.
  • You need support with nutrition labelling, health claims, etc.

What can be done to minimize expense?

  • Keep the packaging simple, using off the shelf and available resources.
  • Minimize the use of photography or original illustrations.
  • Know your ingredients and understand all labelling requirements.

Marketing activations that are not linked to a business outcome are a waste of money. As a result, marketing planning is an important part of our work. The research and context that we build during this stage help us to ensure that your marketing budget is spent wisely.

But why do I need a marketing plan?

Imagine you’re building a house. A marketing plan is the equivalent of an architect’s blueprint.

So, how much does a marketing plan cost?

As with most of our work, the final cost depends on the complexity of the project.

  • A marketing plan for a small project, or a startup, will cost between $3,000 and $7,000.
  • A marketing plan for a national launch will cost between $8-25,000, depending on complexity.
  • An international project can cost from $25,000 upwards.

No. We don’t sell time, we sell marketing solutions that support a specific business objective.

This is how all of our work is costed.

Social media management and content marketing services are typically charged as a monthly retainer. The minimum amount we need per month to create meaningful content, with a commitment for 12 months, is $5000. For multiple social accounts and specialty content that includes custom video production, the cost can be as high as $30,000-$40,000 per month.

That’s expensive, I can get that much cheaper elsewhere

We do not believe that you can purchase the same quality content we create for a lesser price. We don’t market to consumers, we create brand relevancy for people. This means that our clients win the race for attention in a world where low-quality, untested and sometimes plagiarised culinary content is commonplace.

Our social content is created by specialists. Our recipes, for example, are tested twice by our culinary staff and are guaranteed to work. They are also guaranteed to be plagiarism free. This kind of quality has created successes for our clients that include book publishing contracts and the removal of own-brand products by national retailers to be replaced by our client’s brand.

Our community management is done by food industry specialists. We are able to represent any food brand in a social environment not only with warmth and humanity but also with deep knowledge that allows us to share specialist information with the relevant audiences, taking on the role of mentor and teacher.

What factors will make this more expensive?

  • Multiple platforms
  • Complex communication requirements
  • Live events
  • Complexity of media, i.e original photography or videography

What can be done to minimize expense?

  • Concentrate on one or two social platforms
  • Use existing or stock imagery

We restrict the total number of food business startups we work with to 12 per calendar year, with an intake of one per month.

We do offer reduced rates to qualifying startups. Please contact us for details.

Like with most of our work, the cost of food photography increases as the complexity increases.

A simple overhead product shot on a white or solid colour background is less expensive than a recipe shot that needs full culinary development.

From the lowest to the highest, here are four examples of what prices typically are. Please note that these are guidelines only.

Option One

A basic shot of a product that needs no time from our culinary staff. Examples are bottled beverages or products that are ready to eat, like cookies or energy bars. Another example would be a simple shot for social use. The background will typically be one colour and the styling is minimal. Post production, i.e colour adjustment, is included. The cost for a shot like this is typically less than $500.

food photography for Everspring Farms
Packaging element for Everspring Farms sprouted grains baking mixes

Option Two

A simple styled food shot. The recipe will be supplied by the client, or the product is ready to eat. The product is prepared by our culinary staff and photographed using styling materials from our own library. Post-production includes retouching. The cost is around $750.

food photography for Seed to Sausage
Duck ravioli for Seed to Sausage

Option Three

A fully custom shot that includes original “from scratch” recipe development, writing and testing. Custom styling to match a specific brand persona that may include prop rental and the building of a custom set. Full post production and retouch. Expect the cost to be from $1500 upwards.
food photography for Redpath Sugar
A wedding cake developed for the Redpath Sugar Canadian Baking Book

Option Four

VR 360º photography resulting in a model that can be rotated in the browser or VR glasses. Contact us for a quote.

We shoot all our photography in-house, in a studio that is right next to our test kitchen. This keeps things affordable and accessible for our clients.

How can you keep the cost of food photography down?

Whether you’re a startup or need a series of images for social use, there are things you can do to reduce the cost of food photography.

These include:

    • Keep the images simple. The more styling is involved, the higher the cost.
    • Have your recipes ready and tested. If our culinary staff does not have to test your recipes, the cost of a shoot is lower.
    • Think about usage and what you’re trying to achieve. Very often, a simple image can be as effective as a complex shot.
    • Know what you want to achieve and communicate this clearly. Changes and re-shoots add to cost.

We get this question a lot. In our experience, when we worked client-side, ad and marketing agencies hate talking about money.

They hate talking about it because it requires them to make a commitment and then stick to it. Instead, you’ll often get woolly language talking about how “every job is different” and how “we personalize each budget to client requirements”. Which is, more often than not, shorthand for “we will take as much as we can get”.

But here’s the truth: Business runs on money and we need budgets to do our work. Our work is to support our client’s business objectives through marketing planning and execution – say, add $200,000 in revenue for Q3 to a specific product line or prevent a product from being delisted. At some point, we will need to talk about the money needed to achieve that outcome, so we may as well do this at the beginning.

Building a sustainable business

We aim to build a business that offers value to our clients tomorrow, next week and in years to come. In order to do this, we work hard to attract the brightest talent in the food and marketing industry. We pay our staff competitive salaries and offer them a career, not just a job. This translates into better work and better outcomes for our clients.

Aren’t we scared of the competition?

No. We don’t compete on price. We’re not trying to be the cheapest, we’re aiming to be the best.

We use our unrivalled expertise in food, beverage and agricultural marketing to create positive and sustainable business outcomes for our clients and, by extension, for our own business.

Sure thing. Some of them you can read on the front page. Others we’d be happy to share with you after we have signed an NDA.

We launched in 2009.

We are Canada’s only full-service marketing agency specializing in working with food and beverage clients. We service clients in Canada, the US and Europe from offices in Toronto, Montreal (French services) and Guelph (Agricultural services).

Nourish is privately owned, with both partners actively involved in the running of the business.